The IAFF Executive Board votes unanimously to endorse Vice President Al Gore for president of the United States in the 2000 election.
The IAFF issues a report calling for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to change inadequate airport safety regulations that place the lives of millions of passengers and airport employees in jeopardy.
President Bill Clinton signs IAFF-backed legislation that encourages fire-based EMS and helps prevent privatization. The law clarifies that the Fair Labor Standards Act’s 7(k) exemption applies to cross-trained, dual role fire fighters who spend much of their time providing emergency medical services.
The IAFF and several fire service organizations send a letter to U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert of Illinois, urging him to act on the Firefighter Investment and Response Enhancement (FIRE) Act, HR 1168. Representatives Bill Pascrell (NJ) and Curt Weldon (FL) introduce the legislation with the support of all major fire service organizations and a bipartisan coalition of 200 members of Congress.
All three candidates endorsed and supported by FIREPAC Canada win their elections in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, including Manitoba Local 803 member Scott Smith.
President Bill Clinton salutes the more than 700 fire fighters at the IAFF Legislative Conference for the work they do for the American people.
The IAFF First Responder Operation Hazardous Materials Training Program is launched with funding from NIOSH and NIEHS. Specifically targeting recruit fire fighters, the training is free, includes 24 hours of informative, interactive training and provides basic defensive skills in hazmat operations. More than 20 cities nationwide offer the training program.
IAFF Canada representatives attend the first Air Passenger Safety Symposium in Ottawa. Air passenger safety is a growing concern, as the federal Ministry of Transport makes regulation changes that facilitate cuts to fire protection services at Canadian airports.
The IAFF raises concerns that a popular moisture barrier used in firefighting protective clothing is degrading in the field. Several garment manufacturers remove BREATHE-TEX moisture barrier materials from their inventory.
May 30, 1999
Two Washington, DC fire fighters die from injuries sustained while fighting a townhouse fire. The fire started in the basement and progressed up to the first floor. A smoke detector was in the house and alerted residents who made their way out to safety. Due to a blast of heat, one fire fighter was knocked unconscious and died of asphyxiation. The second fire fighter died from third-degree burns.
IAFF members raise $13 million for the Muscular Dystrophy Association during the Labor Day Telethon.
In a ceremony on Capitol Hill the IAFF signs on to the Project Impact Fire Service Partnership for Disaster Prevention, a national initiative designed to challenge Americans to protect families, businesses and communities by reducing the effects of natural disasters.
The IAFF warns members to plan for potential computer glitches in anticipation of the year 2000 (Y2K). The U.S. Fire Administration works to debunk rumors that fire service equipment will fail in 2000.
“Our employees did not hesitate to help when asked, many risking their lives in the early moments of the tragedy. We are very proud of these brave men and women. Although many lives were lost, undoubtedly more could have been if not for their heroic efforts.”Littleton, Colorado Mayor Pat Cronenberger following the mass shooting at Columbine High School, which killed 15
After many years of political struggle, the Operation Respond system is launched in Canada through a partnership with VIA Rail Canada. Operation Respond helps professional fire fighters and emergency medical personnel save lives, and is a major victory for passenger, rail crew and first responder safety. The software beams information about passenger or freight rail cars, including contents and schematics, instantly and directly to those at the scene.
The IAFF begins the development of a first responder-specific weapons of mass destruction (WMD) training program.
December 3, 1999
Six fire fighters in Worcester, Massachusetts, perish while fighting a fire in a cold storage warehouse. Two of the fire fighters were killed while searching for a homeless couple believed to be inside. The other four perished while attempting to rescue their brothers. The homeless couple, who failed to report the fire, caused the blaze by knocking over a candle during an argument.
General President Alfred K. Whitehead announces that he will not seek re-election when the IAFF meets in Chicago in August 2000 for the 45th Convention.
The IAFF offers Union Plus Health Savings policies to reduce out-of-pocket expenses for prescriptions and vision care for members.
The IAFF’s “1997 Annual Death and Injury Survey” indicates that firefighting remains a dangerous profession. While structural fire suppression accounts for just 10 percent of all emergency scene alarms, two-thirds of all injuries occur on these calls.
December 22, 1999
Three fire fighters in Keokuk, Iowa, are killed trying to save a woman and her four children from a burning duplex apartment.